Glasgow Standard Tram

Preserving Glasgow Tram No.488

It's history and restoration progress in the UK

Horse tram services started 19 August 1872
Electric traction from 13 October 1898 until 4 September 1962
Tramway abandonment's started in 1926, with major route closures from 1956 onwards
Trolleybuses introduced 3 April 1949 - Abandoned 27 May 1967

Tour Guide

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A few items of interest

GCT 1014 7mm Model 7mm model of a Liverpool
'Baby Grand' in Glasgow livery

Eglinton Toll at the junction of Maxwell Road and Pollokshaws Road
This sketch depicts Eglinton Toll
at the junction of Maxwell Road and Pollokshaws Road on the south side of the city.

A painting of Coronation car 1174 in London Road near Bridgeton Cross. A view that has remained unchanged over the years.

The painting is currently
[March 2014] for sale for £675.

George Street, Glasgow
A birthday card showing Glasgow 'hex' dash standard car No.73
in George Street.

Sold at £1.55 plus 99p P&P by

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Glasgow No 812 at Crich Tramway Villiage
Our picture shows No 812 on the evening 25th October 2014 at Crich Tramway Villiage. In a couple of years time, you should be able to take at similar picture of No 488 at Carlton Colville!

Background Notes

Standard Glasgow Tramcar

Glasgow Standard Tramcars

These four-wheeled, double-deck tramcars were the mainstay of the Glasgow tram fleet from electrification until the late 1950s [due to the imminent closure of the system]. The first versions of these trams had rounded front panels and open tops [later enclosed], but in order to accommodate glazing, later versions had hexagonal profile dashes.

There were about 1000 built between 1898 and 1924. They were progressively modernised in four phases, although not all went through each phase. The first cars were open-top unvestibuled four-wheelers [phase one]. They then had top covers with open balconies [phase two], platform vestibules and roll-top draught covers [phase three] and finally fully enclosed top covers [phase four]. Electrical equipment and running gear was also upgraded at each modernization phase.

Fixed-head trolleys were originally fitted, being replaced by Fischer bow collectors as part of the 'Standard' modernisation programme from 1928 to 1935. Line Voltage was 575V DC.

Track Gauge

Glasgow's tramlines had an unusual track gauge of 4'-7¾" [1,416 mm]. This was to permit 4'-8½" [1,435 mm] standard gauge railway wagons to be operated over parts of the tram system [particularly in the Govan area] using their wheel flanges running in the slots of the tram tracks. This allowed the railway wagons to be drawn along tramway streets to access some shipyards. The shipyards provided their own small electric locomotives, running on the tramway power, to pull these wagons, principally loaded with steel for shipbuilding, from local railway freight yards. A number of pictures and comments made.

The Liveries of Glasgow Corporation Trams

In 1894 the first lower deck livery was dark red on the lower panels, with cream window surrounds and lower concave panel. With the introduction of electric trams, the lower panels became a deep yellow, originally this was to warn other road users of the electric trams greater speed. Over the years the yellow was applied in darker shades eventually becoming more distinctly orange, this became the standard colour for the lower deck panels on all trams and buses.

The "modesty panels" [the exterior panels between the lower and upper deck windows] were painted in one of five colours - white, red, green, blue and yellow. The colour related to the service the tram was assigned to. This system was a bit inflexible, so in 1938, service numbers were introduced on trams [the buses had already been using this system for years] and the different colour bands were painted over with the universal standard light green that was used on GCT buses. Because of the sheer number of trams it took until 1954 [!] until the very last coloured tram was repainted.

Thereafter [with the exception of a few experimental liveries] the livery for all trams and buses was orange, cream and green, with a dark red underframe. The Standard trams [including the Standard double bogie types] also had dark brown upper deck window frames and vestibule frames.


There were four abandonment's before World War II, Finnieston branch in 1926, South Portland Street branch in 1928, Kilbarchan beyond Johnstone in 1932 and Abbotsinch branch, Paisley, in 1933.

However the early months of 1948 bore witness to the Glasgow tram fleet reaching its maximum size, with over 1200 trams available for daily service across a network which permeated throughout the city and extended into many of the outlying borough. That peak didn't last long as later in that year, tram operations ceased beyond Zoo to Uddingston and so the downward spiral had started to eradicate tramway operations in Glasgow.

Glasgow Standard Tramcar 488 - Timelines

Select the timeline you wish to view in the red box by clicking on an image shown below.
By default the GCT timeline is shown. Any help that could be given by expanding on the timeline information shown for AMTUIR would be appreciated.

Glasgow Corporation Transport
19th September 1903 to
20th November 1961
Musée des Transports Urbains Interurbains et Ruraux
21st November 1961 to
5th March 2013
Boston Lodge Engineering
6th March 2013
to date
East Anglia Transport Museum
Possibility of 488 being a permanent exhibit at the Museum from 2016.

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